Monday, January 03, 2011

Vison of an Art Gallery...

While in prayer this evening, God showed me a vision of a long, elegant hall.  The hall had dim lights, just like those in a typical art gallery or museum.  As I glanced down the hall, I saw the most beautiful portraits and sculptures.  To my surprise, all of them were figures of people in ministry, some of whom I personally know.  There were portraits of praise and worship teams, preachers and people lifting their hands to God.  I saw great and intricate sculptures of people laying hands on others and preaching the Gospel.  The pictures were so life-like and beautiful… more than any art I’d ever seen.

As I moved down the display hall, God asked me what I thought of the artwork.  I expressed how beautiful it was and explained that the beauty literally put me in tears.  I was impressed by what I saw and felt like the people portrayed in the art were so anointed.  As I asked God where we were, He explained to me that He sees something similar to this all the time.  I was expecting some great and glorious explanation of the place I was viewing. 

Unfortunately, God said that the gallery represents the Church and what many of us are offering as ministry.  “It’s absolutely beautiful to look upon,” He said, “but still has no life!”  He began to remind me that signs and wonders follow those that truly believe.  He reminded me that His power moves and operates in the midst of true ministry.  True worship is not always as beautiful as the picture-perfect display, but is has fruit.  It’s not rehearsed and dressed up.  It’s not mechanical and choreographed.  Yet, it results in deliverance through His power.

In this season, people of God, we have to stop putting so much emphasis on “being cute.”  The Church has presented an image, and taught many to do the same, without carrying any power.  We know how to look good and enticing.  Yet, when the maniac walks into the sanctuary, they leave with the same demon.  When a member is diagnosed with cancer, we are not able to pray a prayer of faith that truly heals.

God is pressing us.  He wants the oil from the olives.  The true power of God comes only through obedience and sacrifice.  Our worship must go to another level.  Accountability must be turned up a notch.

(Mal 1:6)  A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
(Mal 1:7)  Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
(Mal 1:8)  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
(Mal 1:9)  And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
(Mal 1:10)  Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

In the book of Malachi, God begins by rebuking the priests for their failure to offer their best to Him.  Instead of giving God the best, they withheld it for themselves and gave Him the sacrifices with flaws.  Many of us today are still offering God less than our best.  We feel that as long as we do “something” ministry has gone forth.  God forbid.  It’s time to honor God with our best in all things, and that requires sacrifice!

Many of us need to sacrifice more in our giving, our service, our talents…everything.  We need to pray more, fast more, study the word of God more…  We need to be more obedient, serve more and support one another more.  Our sacrifices must be the very best.

We can no longer give a job our best 40 hours, and serve God with what’s left, through our tiredness and fatigue.  We can no longer give our talents to the world, then come into the house of God with a tip to appease our egos.  We must stop pouring our time into studying the politics of religion while neglecting the study of His word.  The time has ended for us to talk, bicker, complain and gossip all day long, just to end the day with 30 seconds of prayer.

(Mal 3:1)  Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
(Mal 3:2)  But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:
(Mal 3:3)  And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Later in the book of Malachi, God promises that Jesus Christ will bring forth the PURGING required for a righteous sacrifice.  PURGING…  Purging is what we need.  It’s time to let go of the religion.  Let go of our agendas.  Release the politics and the empty appearances.

Be warned… purging hurts!   It means that we’ll be emptied from a lot of “knowledge” so that it can be replaced with understanding and anointing.  It means we may have to lay down some titles, positions and responsibilities.  It means we may have to apologize and fix some things we once thought were right.

God wants to purge everything that is carnal inside of His people, allowing the Spirit of God to fill us.  This is the only way we will remove ourselves from an appearance of godliness, while operating without the power.  REVIVAL is nigh, but comes with a price.


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